Dodgers Rumors: Martin, Loney, Dunn, Nishioka

The latest on the Dodgers, from Kevin Baxter of the L.A. Times

  • GM Ned Colletti admitted the team will spend the most time debating what to do about catcher Russell Martin, who we've pegged as a non-tender candidate.  The Dodgers could try to bring him back for less than this year's $5.05MM, writes Baxter.  Martin was sidelined by a hip injury this year, though he expects to be ready for Spring Training.  His agent recently told Baxter's colleague Dylan Hernandez that his client hopes to remain with the Dodgers.
  • Another player I was willing to call a non-tender or at least trade candidate, James Loney, "is all but certain to return at first base" according to Baxter.  He could earn around $5MM despite a disappointing 2010 season.  Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reported recently that Loney is the position player the Dodgers are most willing to trade as they look to add power to the lineup. 
  • The Dodgers have uncertainty at left field and second base, but Baxter says they're not expected to bid on Adam Dunn or Tsuyoshi Nishioka.  Instead, they could continue to add pitching.


68 Responses to Dodgers Rumors: Martin, Loney, Dunn, Nishioka Leave a Reply

  1. and by “add pitching” we mean “retain the mediocre pitching they had last year.”

    • mediocre pitching was not our problem – at least, you know, statistically speaking.

      • true – although the guys we re-signed, Lilly and Kuroda, aren’t bad pitchers, but still aren’t better than #3 starters. Lilly fell apart in September, and Kuroda had a solid ERA last year (3.39) but seems to have some health problems. Plus, Kuroda will be 36 next year, and Lilly will be 35. It’s just hard to call it ‘adding’ pitching when you’re re-signing pitchers who lead your team to an 80-82 finish.

        • BlueSkyLA 5 years ago

          Untrue. The team just stopped scoring runs, and the bullpen underperformed — neither of which you can blame on starting pitching. Well, I suppose you could try.

        • dieharddodgerfan 5 years ago

          The issues for the Dodgers in the 2nd half was an anemic offense and a shaky pen.

          The Dodgers starters did a very good job throughout the season and were the strength of the team.

          • thegrayrace 5 years ago

            While I broadly agree with you, Vincent, and BlueSkyLA… to be fair to the OP, starting pitching was definitely somewhat responsible for the Dodgers poor record. While the offensive collapse of the 2nd half is freshest on our minds, don’t forget the starters that the Dodgers trotted out there in the 1st half. Haeger, Ortiz, Monasterios and Ely had 20 losses between them.

            Lilly patched that hole in later in the 2nd half. But until we resign Padilla or another 5th starter, that hole exists again.

        • Guest 5 years ago

          Thanks for that. Couldnt be more wrong.

  2. Gibbys_Limp 5 years ago

    Why does Colletti insist that he needs to “continue to add pitching” when the team could not score runs last year to save their life? I know it won’t happen, but they SHOULD be adding a player like Dunn to put a potent bat in the lineup.

    • Who are the Dodgers starting 5 pitchers right now? Anwser that and you’ll see why Colletti says he needs to “continue to add pitching”.

      • is this a joke? we have easily one of the best top 4 in the league right now.

        • Really, better than Lincecum, Cain, Sanchez, and Bumgarner? How about Latos, LeBlanc, Richard, and Correia, or even Jimenez, Hammel, Chacin, and Francis? I guess “easily one of the best top 4 in the league right now” means you have slightly better than middle of the pack when you count all 15 teams in the NL. Colletti is correct, the Dodgers need better pitching (among other things).

          • they havea better top 4 than the pads or rockies. Latos has ONE professional season. Correia has never been good. and really? Jeff Francis? The same Jeff Francis that the rockies will probably non tender?

          • ThinkBlue10 5 years ago

            The only rotation better than ours in the NL west is the giant rotation. We have a very underrated rotation. Pithcing should not be what Ned is looking for right now unless it is lee but thats never happening. We need a bat. If you don’t know about our team and their needs just don’t post anything.

          • dieharddodgerfan 5 years ago

            I would only put the Giants rotation over the Dodgers because they have more depth at the back end with Bumgarner and Zito battling for the 5th spot.

            However, I think Kershaw, Billz, Lilly and Kuroda are better than Lincecum, Cain, Sanchez and Zito or Bumgarner.

            The Dodgers just need to find themselves a credible innings eater for the 5th starter spot.

          • Dwan 5 years ago

            “However, I think Kershaw, Billz, Lilly and Kuroda are better than Lincecum, Cain, Sanchez and Zito or Bumgarner.”

            lol thanks for the laugh.

          • dieharddodgerfan 5 years ago

            I would only put the Giants rotation over the Dodgers because they have more depth at the back end with Bumgarner and Zito battling for the 5th spot.

            However, I think Kershaw, Billz, Lilly and Kuroda are better than Lincecum, Cain, Sanchez and Zito or Bumgarner.

            The Dodgers just need to find themselves a credible innings eater for the 5th starter spot.

          • lasordaforpresident 5 years ago

            Really, better than the Pads and certainly better than the Rox top four, only the giants, Braves, Phills and Cards have a better rotation than LA ranking 5th out of 15 isn’t “slightly better than middle of the pack.” Now teams always need pitching, but losing 2-1, 1-0 or 3-2 is still losing. Dodger fans saw way too many games like that last year.

          • lasordaforpresident 5 years ago

            Really, better than the Pads and certainly better than the Rox top four, only the giants, Braves, Phills and Cards have a better rotation than LA ranking 5th out of 15 isn’t “slightly better than middle of the pack.” Now teams always need pitching, but losing 2-1, 1-0 or 3-2 is still losing. Dodger fans saw way too many games like that last year.

          • Billingsley had a 3.57 ERA. Kershaw 2.91. Kuroda was 3.39. Lilly was 3.62. Not bad at all. Whether it’s top 4 or not, it’s pretty solid.

            The bigger problem is that the Dodgers were 21st out of 30 teams in total runs.

          • From 08/01 to the end of the season (yes – small sample size)

            Kershaw-Kuroda-Billingsley: 33 GS, 25 QS, 218.0 IP, 169 H, 81 R, 74 ER, 67 BB, 204 K, 13 HR, 9-15 (14-19 team)
            Lincecum-MCain-J.Sanchez: 35 GS, 21 QS, 218.1 IP, 173 H, 83 R, 77 ER, 68 BB, 228 K, 25 HR, 16-12 (22-13 team)

          • vtadave 5 years ago

            Please John. Take off your Dodger-hater hat and open your eyes. Jeff Francis sucks. Wade LeBlanc? Really? Sigh…

          • dusto 5 years ago

            Jeff Francis is a free agent, unlikely to remain in Colorado for next year.

            The Dodgers had 3 pitchers in the top 15 last year in the NL. Kershaw (6), Bills (9), and Kuroda (12). Lilly was like 25th or something.

          • dusto 5 years ago

            Jeff Francis is a free agent, unlikely to remain in Colorado for next year.

            The Dodgers had 3 pitchers in the top 15 last year in the NL. Kershaw (6), Bills (9), and Kuroda (12). Lilly was like 25th or something.

          • Guest 5 years ago

            Boooooooo.

      • Gibbys_Limp 5 years ago

        Let’s see, we’ve got Kershaw, Billingsley, Lilly, Kuroda, and whoever the hell wants the 5th starter spot. You could choose from any of: Ely, Monasterios, Haeger (if worst came to worst), or (if they resign him) Padilla. Not the best group to choose from, but I’d say, tops, we spend $5MM for Padilla if they don’t go cheap & stay in-house. God knows we’ll also have 30 has-beens as Spring Training NRI which will net us another Ramon or Russ Ortiz like we had last year…There’s too much fuss made over a 5th starter position.

      • Kershaw, Bills, Kuroda, Lily, hopefully Padilla if they can get him on a 1 year deal or someone in house. 5th starter isnt that important, no team has a solid 5th starter the whole year.

        That rotation was one of the best in baseball. If they scored more than 3 runs per game and didn’t get shut out all the time they would have won a lot more games. Good thing you know what youre talking about though.

        • thegrayrace 5 years ago

          Solid pitching out of the #5 spot in the rotation contributed greatly to the Dodgers successes in ’08 and ’09.

          Terrible production out of the#5 spot from Haeger, Ely, Monasterios, McDonald and Ortiz (over 20 losses combined) cost the Dodgers a winning record in ’10, regardless of the terrible offense.

  3. if we can’t a guy who offers up at least 25 home runs next year, we don’t make the playoffs. it’s that simple.

    • lasordaforpresident 5 years ago

      Looks like we could have had Uggla for Jamey Carroll and Kenley Jansen, or something like that. Would have been nice to have a 3-4-5 of Kemp/Andre/Uggla

    • BlueSkyLA 5 years ago

      You mean, like Kemp and Ethier?

  4. ThinkBlue10 5 years ago

    Looks like we’re going to have another disappointing offseason. Loney is “is all but certain to return at first base”, thats not a good sign, and we aren’t going to bid on adam dunn. Thank you ned and Mccourts.

  5. ThinkBlue10 5 years ago

    Looks like we’re going to have another disappointing offseason. Loney is “is all but certain to return at first base”, thats not a good sign, and we aren’t going to bid on adam dunn. Thank you ned and Mccourts.

  6. What’s Colletti worried about? He can just plug James McDonald into the fifth starter spot and let Andrew Lambo battle it out for the LF job. Oh, that’s right, he traded those guys for Octavio Dotel’s corpse, who he later flipped for a PTBNL. With the Colletti/McCourt/Mattingly Cabal of Ineptitude at the helm, the Dodgers will continue to aspire to mediocrity. FACT.

    • lasordaforpresident 5 years ago

      Lambo smoked too much pot to play LF in LA, and McD never really cut it in the rotation. I would have rather put him in the bullpen than trade him for Dotel, however even though it was a horrible deal, we didnt lose any franchise players.

      And I’m rather excited about our potential coaching staff, Lopes, Honeycutt, Wallach, Hilman, Petland and Mattingly should bring energy that Torre lacked and Bowa couldnt harness.

      • BlueSkyLA 5 years ago

        Exactly. Why are so many Dodger fans crying tears in their beer for a player like Lambo, who has never played above AA and hasn’t even excelled at that level? For sure they’d be weeping even more if someone with as little power as Lambo was playing left field for the team next season.

        • vtadave 5 years ago

          I’m not shedding any tears at losing Andrew Lambo given the presence of two far better OF prospects in the system in Trayvon Robinson and Jerry Sands (may also be Loney’s successor). Still, that Ned felt the need to ADD to the offer of James McDonald to get Dotel is one mystery that will never be solved outside of Ned’s own mind.

          • BlueSkyLA 5 years ago

            I don’t think that Colletti was being generous, if that’s what you mean. The bullpen was in tatters at that point, and MacDonald had never really been effective. Between management and the coaches I suspect they had some thoughts about MacDonald’s upside potential that they aren’t sharing with us. If he turns into a useful piece of a team with a winning record, then we’ll have some brickbats to throw at Ned & Co. for letting him go.

          • Guest 5 years ago

            Jmac was pretty good last year. Ned is a ahole and felt like making a “move”

          • thegrayrace 5 years ago

            Come on. James McDonald had a great season out of the bullpen in ’09, better than any season Dotel has had since 2003. He had incredible numbers throughout his minor league career in addition to his solid bullpen numbers in the majors.

            He had a few miserable starts as a Dodger. I believe about 6 of them? And that discredits everything he’s done in the minors and out of the bullpen and means he’s “never really been effective”?

          • BlueSkyLA 5 years ago

            I don’t count minor league performance. All that matters is how a player performs at the major league level. McDonald was supposed to develop into a starter. Clearly he wasn’t getting there in any hurry. We will have to watch and see if he gets there at all. The problem I have with your reasoning, and the reasoning of most embittered Dodger fans, is that it’s based on the assumption that Ned Colletti is just plain stupid. No other explanation covers all of this armchair general managing.

          • thegrayrace 5 years ago

            But we traded McDonald for a reliever, not a starter. And in the relief role, Dotel had not performed as well as McDonald since 2003. If we traded McDonald for a starter, your argument has merit. But that he was traded for a lesser reliever, a rental nonetheless, and a quality LF prospect was also added to the deal, is asinine.It’s not only Dodger fans that realize Colletti was fleeced in that deal.

          • BlueSkyLA 5 years ago

            My point was that McDonald wasn’t developing in the role the Dodgers were expecting him to fill, so that made him expendable. I’m not defending the Dotel deal, but I guess I have to remind you of the state of the bullpen at the time. They certainly paid a high price for an experienced reliever, but I have a feeling your view of it would be very different had the offense revived and the team clawed back in the pennant race. Fans always think they are smarter than baseball managers, players, coaches, and (especially) umpires. So what else is new under the sun?

          • thegrayrace 5 years ago

            It isn’t only fans that criticized that deal.

            Considering McDonald had already proven to be a more valuable reliever than Dotel, my view would not have been different had the Dodgers made the playoffs. Yes, Dotel is experienced… but he is experienced at being average at best. And at the time the trade was made the best bullpen in baseball wasn’t going to save the Dodgers season.

          • That’s the issue. It’s not this prospect or that one. It’s the systematic undervaluing of Dodger assets, while at the same time overvaluing every other team’s lack of assets. Colletti consistently throws away talent for guys like Casey Blake and Ryan Theriot, only to find the cupboard bare when faced with the possibility of acquiring any actual talent.

          • lasordaforpresident 5 years ago

            I don’t think that its Colletti undervaluing the team’s assets. He knew how good Santana was, but it is Frank’s lack of assets that is screwing the farm system. Instead of taking on 3 million in Blake’s salary we threw Santana in the deal. I dont blame Ned for what is happening, I blame McCheap

          • lasordaforpresident 5 years ago

            I don’t think that its Colletti undervaluing the team’s assets. He knew how good Santana was, but it is Frank’s lack of assets that is screwing the farm system. Instead of taking on 3 million in Blake’s salary we threw Santana in the deal. I dont blame Ned for what is happening, I blame McCheap

          • BlueSkyLA 5 years ago

            Please justify this conclusion. I am constantly hearing about all the “studs” that Colletti trades away for a bag of bats, but I’m not aware of any that have turned out to be nearly as important as claimed. I heard it about Andy LaRoche and Blake DeWitt, just to name a couple — but if either of them had become full-time position players for the Dodgers, we’d be hearing about how “McCheap” was sticking to mediocre players because they cost less. I won’t defend every move they make, but I won’t condemn every one either.

          • thegrayrace 5 years ago

            Do you not think Carlos Santana, had he been retained in ’08 (and Casey Blake been acquired for lesser prospects without cash), could have been used as a centerpiece to land Cliff Lee at the trade deadline in ’09?Remember, this also would have been before the Sherrill deal. Carlos Santana, Josh Bell, James McDonald, Andrew Lambo, plus a couple of other prospects would’ve been a far better package than what the Phillies ended up offering.That would’ve probably forced the Phillies hand into overpaying for Halladay early, but the Dodgers/Phillies would’ve at least matched up more evenly that NLCS. Who knows, maybe the Dodgers make the WS if that happens.And the Dodgers would’ve had Cliff Lee in 2010, too.Brian is right. Colletti wastes his assets on minor deals for marginal talent. Blake and Dotel are prime examples, but Podsednik, Theriot, Garland (who ended up not even making the postseason roster) are other examples of this poor strategy.

          • BlueSkyLA 5 years ago

            This scenario is completely speculative and based on the assumption that each trade that the Dodgers have made going back years could have been made by trading fewer players. Why — because you say so? Then you real off a series of other grand assumptions and want me to believe that each and every one comes true just as you say. Sorry, I don’t buy any of it.

          • thegrayrace 5 years ago

            Of course it is completely speculative, but the example I set (Cliff Lee/Dodgers) only requires ONE bad trade (which was widely considered a bad trade at the time) to not have been made – the Casey Blake trade. And it is as clear as day that Casey Blake’s salary being paid by Cleveland was the reason that they dealt Santana.

            If you don’t think Carlos Santana would’ve been enough to base a trade for Cliff Lee around, fine, then my argument shouldn’t persuade you. But considering that Carlos Santana was a higher ranked prospect than anybody that the Phillies gave up, it should. And Josh Bell, Andrew Lambo and James McDonald were also among the Dodgers top prospects in ’09.

            Being speculative doesn’t mean the argument has no merit. I’m talking about ONE trade screwing the Dodgers chances of landing Cliff Lee in ’09. The other trades are separate examples of the same poor strategy of trading quality prospects for marginal major league talent (often rental players).

          • BlueSkyLA 5 years ago

            I don’t buy it for no other reason than your argument assumes that you know more about the player market than an actual GM. It also assumes that you know more about the development of the players, which I also question. As I think we all know, being called a “top prospect” really doesn’t mean very much. Probably half if not more of these high-hopes players wash out and are seen little if at all in the majors. Unless and until they can prove themselves in the big leagues, they aren’t worth very much, which is why it’s so common to see two or three or more traded for experienced rentals.

          • thegrayrace 5 years ago

            Do you assume GMs are infallible and all have an equal read on the market? And, by extension, all trades are even at the time they are made? And that it is impossible for independent analysts to have a grasp of trade markets? If so, then there is no point in debating you.

            In my world, one-sided trades are made with surprising frequency and are often easily identified as such, and well-informed independent analysts are often firmly on one side of the deal.

            Being a “top prospect” does mean a good deal, as the scouts that rank prospects are just as talented as the scouts that teams (and those brilliant GMs) rely upon in determining the value of prospects. Whether a prospect ultimately pans out or not is absolutely meaningless to this argument. Prospects have value because of their potential, not because of a guarantee of production.

            Top prospects are rarely traded for marginal/league average major league talent like Casey Blake, especially 2-3 month rental. That’s why when such trades are made, they are roundly criticized. Top prospects are traded for premier talent like Cliff Lee, Roy Halladay, etc. Even the Angels deal for Dan Haren and the Phillies deal for Roy Oswalt did not require a prospect as highly ranked as Carlos Santana.

          • BlueSkyLA 5 years ago

            Obviously I assume that GMs are infallible. You can tell from everything I’ve said. Sigh. Trades are never “even,” they are meant to get a job done. When a contending team is short a position player, the team with the available player who can fill it is able to extract a high price. That’s why it’s called market. I just disagree with you on the value of prospects. Multiple prospects are often traded for proven talent and almost never the other way around.

          • BlueSkyLA 5 years ago

            Please justify this conclusion. I am constantly hearing about all the “studs” that Colletti trades away for a bag of bats, but I’m not aware of any that have turned out to be nearly as important as claimed. I heard it about Andy LaRoche and Blake DeWitt, just to name a couple — but if either of them had become full-time position players for the Dodgers, we’d be hearing about how “McCheap” was sticking to mediocre players because they cost less. I won’t defend every move they make, but I won’t condemn every one either.

          • Guest 5 years ago

            Team assets? Oh you mean zero cash to spend?

          • That’s the issue. It’s not this prospect or that one. It’s the systematic undervaluing of Dodger assets, while at the same time overvaluing every other team’s lack of assets. Colletti consistently throws away talent for guys like Casey Blake and Ryan Theriot, only to find the cupboard bare when faced with the possibility of acquiring any actual talent.

        • vtadave 5 years ago

          I’m not shedding any tears at losing Andrew Lambo given the presence of two far better OF prospects in the system in Trayvon Robinson and Jerry Sands (may also be Loney’s successor). Still, that Ned felt the need to ADD to the offer of James McDonald to get Dotel is one mystery that will never be solved outside of Ned’s own mind.

    • bleedDODGERblue 5 years ago

      We could have had Bell at 3rd and Santana at catcher too…. dont agree with McDonald as the 5th starter though

  7. BlueSkyLA 5 years ago

    Duplicate post. Deleted.

  8. dodgersguero 5 years ago

    man stupid ned go after a power hitter we dont need pitching right now, we need a power hitter like Adam Dunn in our line up, and i think we should go after Tsuyoshi Nishioka he is a good player, we could use him at 2nd or ss if furcal gets hurt hopefully he doesnt. Also for 5th starter get either padilla,webb,young or garland and there it is. Now we really will make the playoff this year unless ned laggs it again like last season come on ned get in the game stop being dumb!!

  9. dusto 5 years ago

    The Dodgers really need to add some offense, and I was hoping that it would come in the form of one Adam Dunn. I am to assume that any high priced long term deals will not be in our future. Eric Chavez might platoon at third with Blake?

    I’M TIRED OF THE STATEMENTS THAT THE DODGERS NEED A LEFT FIELDER! ETHIER NEEDS TO MOVE BACK TO LEFT SO KEMP CAN MOVE BACK TO RIGHT TO MAKE ROOM FOR A DECENT CENTER FIELDER.

    I’m pushing for Nyjer Morgan. Seems unlikely, but he is making only 400k next year and can produce 3-4 WAR. Seems like the type of player that would fit into McCouts budget.

    • Guest 5 years ago

      If Chavez comes back(really doubt it) hes gonna be a pinch hitter I would assume.

      • dusto 5 years ago

        Maybe the base salary is a minor league contract with incentives based on PA? But I really dont see him as an option to actually play the field. Hopefully Ned doesn’t either. I was kinda hoping for Chad Tracy.

  10. Alec Coleman 5 years ago

    The Dodgers opened the 2010 season with a $83MM payroll, which is down from the 2009 $110MM payroll that led the team to another division title plus a trip to the NLCS for the second straight year. By the end of the 2010 season my estimation shows after the additions and subtractions the Dodgers finished with a payroll of about $97MM. While the majority of the payroll concerns stem from the ugly divorce between Frank and Jamie McCourt. I am personally sick of the divorce being used as an excuse for the Dodgers and their inability to play baseball. Is the divorce an issue? Yes, of course it is. It is something that will be dealt with this winter, but I don’t think just because Frank is getting divorced it changes his stance on wanting to be successful, much less his desire to win a World Series. With that being said, if the increase truly happens I will say the Dodgers open the 2011 season with a payroll sitting right around $105MM.

    In order to fully gauge the amount of money Colletti is working with, I must first address the dead money Colletti has burdened the team with. There is right around $17MM in dead money due to the likes of the backloaded obligations to Manny Ramirez, 2/3 of the Chicago White Sox outfield, and a few of Colletti’s poor choices that the team is still on the hook for.

    By my calculations, before things even get going the Dodgers have roughly $52MM guaranteed to Lilly, Furcal, Blake, Ethier, Kemp, Broxton, and Carroll. Add the guaranteed and “dead” money together, and you will come up with $69MM, that’s before arbitration and filling the rest of the holes in the roster. Keep doing the math and that leaves $36MM to get down to business with.

    First things first get the bat this offense needs by signing first baseman Adam Dunn to a three year, $35MM contract with a mutual 4th year if he wants it. Dunn is simply one of the worst defensive outfielders in all of baseball, which is why he won’t be filling the vacancy in left field and instead will be playing first base for the Dodgers. His defense is not as bad as you would think over at first base. Adding this guy to the offense creates the impact the offense needs for next season, count on him to hit 38 dingers and bat .260. I’ll take it, especially when he makes any hitter around him better. This deal will have to be backloaded a bit in order to make the numbers jive unfortunately. $36MM – $8MM (in 2011) and that leaves $28MM to work with, don’t worry things are just getting started.

    Now I know what you are thinking if Dunn is playing first where does James Loney fit? Loney is already on trade watch, and the bottom line is Loney is done as a Dodger. The Dodgers are not going to be able to keep going to arbitration with all of these young players. The reality is Loney becomes the odd man out, and he has got some decent trade value to work with. Package Loney, Russell Martin, Scott Elbert, and Javy Guerra in a trade for Zack Greinke and Alex Gordon. Figure after arbitration to Loney and Martin they will total $11MM in 2011. Greinke is set to make $13.5MM for the next two years, and Gordon will get near $2MM. You also got to figure in the loose change due to Guerra and Elbert, but for the sake of making this post less complicated just go with it. After the addition and predicted subtractions there is $24.5MM. Plenty to get the rest of the roster ironed out. The dollars and cents may not be exact here, but it’s close enough.

    Left field is probably the most obvious hole on the roster, trust me I get it. The departure of Manny left some pretty big shoes to fill over there. The good news here is, these big shoes are now holding down first base. With Dunn’s bat replacing Manny’s, there is some wiggle room over in left field to work with. With the big bat issue resolved, it would be nice to get some speed at the top of the lineup and add some defense in left. Some may not like it, but going with Jay Gibbons is the answer here. Sign him for the league minimum with a heavily incentive laden deal and roll the dice. Gibbons has a had a very difficult time staying healthy, but there is no doubting his talent. He has shown his power and we all know what he is capable of. Xavier Paul becomes a fourth outfielder that can cover any outfield position. Paul and Gibbons cost $800K combined, so I am going to round this off to $23.5 remaining. Things are looking pretty good right about now. Right?

    Time to address the infield. Rafael Furcal is definitely talented, and he remains one of the better shortstops in the game despite averaging less than 100 games per year since 2008. Furcal is owed a whopping $12MM, but Dee Gordon isn’t ready for the bigs yet, until he is Furcal is the man pure and simple.

    With Alex Gordon coming over in the aforementioned trade, he takes over at third base. You can now turn Blake into a lefty masher off the bench. Blake was absolutely terrible against right handed pitching. He had an OPS of .663 in 369 plate appearances, with 11 dingers and 106 strikeouts. On the flip side he flat out mashed against lefties. Blake had an OPS of .895 in 140 plate appearances, with 6 homers and only 32 strikeouts. Blake becomes a solid bench player who can give regular rest as he can play third, first, and can even play some left field when necessary (last played LF in 2009). Casey Blake isn’t the same player anymore, so a move to the bench will be a win-win for both parties.

    On to the 2011 catcher, this one was a little tough. Ultimately as you noticed above I decided trading Martin is the best choice for the team. Martin is coming off a brutal hip injury, and he may never fully recover from this one. With the two back to back offensive disappointments, you’ve got to trade him now before his trade value plummets and all hope is lost.This means A.J. Ellis and Rod Barajas are the catchers in 2011. An argument can be made these guys can easily do what Martin of the last two years has done. It’s so hard to give up on Martin because I remember the good ol’ days. Neither Ellis or Barajas are a long term solution, that we all know for sure. I think together they will have a successful season. Ellis is still young and who knows maybe he figure out major league hitting. He has been a streaky player to this point, and he had a nice finish in 2010. Barajas has hit double digit homers in six of the last seven years, so we know the guy has some pop left. He can be a nice power bat off the bench, and will get his fair share of starts depending on the matchup. Regardless, I like the outcome and together they will probably put up the same or better numbers than Martin.

    So here’s the Opening Day lineup…

    C Ellis
    1B Dunn
    2B DeJesus
    3B Gordon
    SS Furcal
    LF Gibbons
    CF Kemp
    RF Ethier

    BN Barajas
    BN Paul
    BN Carroll
    BN Blake
    BN Hu

    The starting lineup speaks for itself. There is some room for improvement but the ghosts of Manny, Andruw, and Pierre are going to be haunting this team all season long. All things considered it’s actually an improvement over the 2010 roster. You have Dunn who is younger and healthier version of Manny. If Kemp and Ethier get back on track with Dunn around, this team will be scary offensively. The bench has some much needed power, something that has been absent in recent years. Some platoon options emerge, speed, defense, and it is definitely an improvement over recent years. I see youth and veteran leadership, some balance created, and our bench has definitely been restored.

    Financially as the roster sits right now the team is sitting right around $96.5MM, that includes the additions subtractions thus far, plus the dead money and guaranteed contracts. Lilly and Greinke are already on board but there is still 3/5 of a starting rotation to address, not to mention our bruised and battered bullpen of 2010. Kuo ($2.5MM) and Broxton ($7MM) are already signed for the 2011 season so that takes care of the back end of the bullpen. Broxton will be the closer when the season starts, and I think he will get back to the same physical and mental state before the 2010 meltdown. Things got a little complicated with the additions and subtractions so we are starting with a new total to work with. There $25.5MM get Kershaw and Billingsley signed, plus

    Zack Greinke was already mentioned in the above trade. His addition to the 2011 rotation will be a huge part of the teams success. Add him to the top of a rotation already featuring Ted Lilly, Chad Billingsley, and last but not least Clayton Kershaw, this quickly becomes one of the best rotations in the league. Pitching has been the downfall in every regardless of the outcome, and this instantly gives the Dodgers a rotation to be reckoned with.

    RHP Zack Greinke
    LHP Clayton Kershaw
    RHP Chad Billingsley
    LHP Ted Lilly
    RHP Hiroki Kuroda

    RHP John Ely
    RHP Carlos Monasterios
    RHP Ronald Belisario
    RHP Ramon Troncoso
    RHP Kenley Jansen
    LHP Hong-Chih Kuo
    RHP Jonathan Broxton

    Overall there isn’t a dramatic change from the 2010 to 2011 team. There is however a couple of significant moves that will impact the team dramatically. The offense will see a bigger change in regards to player changes, but you keep the majority of the team intact. The starting rotation looks great and overall this team taking the field looks much improved over the one that walked off the field as the 2010 season concluded. The best part of it is I came in right at budget with an Opening Day payroll of $105,747,596. I am not predicting a World Series with this team because so many variables are built into a World Series team, but I will say this team will get us back on top of the NL West and at least give us a shot.

    • BlueSkyLA 5 years ago

      It’s never too difficult to find a big flaw in armchair general managing. Martin’s trade value is zero. He has to be tendered a contract first, which will cost the team in the neighborhood of $5 million. You seem to believe that he’ll be offered a contract even if Dodger management doesn’t know if he can play next season, and that they can pawn this uncertainty off on someone else. No other team is going to fall for this shuck-and-jive. How you can claim you know Broxton’s physical and mental state is … unbelievable! The bottom line is, general managers are dealing with real baseball. They are not playing in fantasy leagues.

    • bleedDODGERblue 5 years ago

      I’ve read this before somewhere…

    • ThinkBlue10 5 years ago

      That offense would get us nowhere.

      • bleedDODGERblue 5 years ago

        Not to mention theres only one LHP coming out of the bullpen who could possibly be our closer and cant pitch more than a couple innings and cant pitch more than 2 days in a row..

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